Fans of Liverpool and Premier League surely remember a failed £35-million-transfer made by the Kop on England striker Andy Carroll from Newcastle United back in 2010. The forward made a total of 58 appearances for the Merseyside Red but disappointingly only scored 11 goals. Such a poor form got Carroll shown the exit door from the 19-time English football league champion and the 33-year-old player is now playing in the Championship. After losing out Sadio Mané to German Bundesliga 1 side Bayern Munich, Liverpool turned their attention to S.L. Benfica’s Darwin Núñez, and the Uruguayan came to the Premier League with a hefty price tag of £85million with add-ons.
Since making into the English league, the 23-year-old forward has been heavily compared with Manchester City’s new signing Erling Haaland, but Núñez has been second-best in the comparison as the Norway sensation has bagged a whooping 27 goals in 21 games in all competitions of the Citizens while Núñez has only managed nine goals in 22 games for the Reds.
6 & 0.57 – Among players in Europe’s top 10 leagues with 500+ minutes played this season, Darwin Núñez ranks first for shots per 90 (6.0), but 99th for goals per 90 (0.57). Bedlam. pic.twitter.com/l1FbPW4j7e
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 30, 2022
A Flop Already?
Perhaps it is too harsh to judge the player in his first season in the physical English league, especially for someone who did not come from a major club in the top five European football leagues, but Artigas-born player had his fair share of chances in those 22 appearances for Liverpool and statistics have all shown he is within the rank of players who wasted a lot of chances (Ranking 1st for shots per 90 minutes with six and 99th for goals per 90 minutes with 0.57 in Europe’s top 10 leagues).
These missed opportunities could have resulted in the downpour of goals, in which will help Jürgen Klopp’s side in the Premier League (Liverpool currently ranks 6th in the Premier League and 15 points behind the current league leader Arsenal with one game more played). Nonetheless, Núñez’s comparison, Haaland, has been breaking records since gracing the sky blue jersey for Manchester City, including the fastest player to score 20 goals in the Premier League (14 games).
Gakpo Signed, What Is Next for Núñez?
In relation to its poor form in the start of this season, Liverpool has quickly made a new arrangement: By bringing in Netherlands winger Cody Gakpo for £37 million. That prompted many to think whether Darwin Núñez is losing his starting spot to the 23-year-old flanker who starred in Netherlands’ World Cup run to the quarterfinal in Qatar, especially when Liverpool is being blessed with an incredible depth of forwards. Losing out to Brentford 3-1 last night at Gtech Community Stadium further proved Núñez struggle to adapt in the tough Premier League as his multiple chances on goal went fruitless and could not prevent the Merseyside Red from losing its 5th league match of the season.
A Disappointing End for Núñez in 2022
Struggles in the new club and the signing of Gakpo are not the only things the 23-year-old forward have to worry about as the Uruguay national football team led by him crashed out of the group stage in the recent World Cup in Qatar, after one win, one draw and one loss in three group fixtures. It would take some effort for the Uruguayan to overcome his upsets and win the hearts of Liverpool fan, and he will need to do it quick as the competition at front for the Kop is fierce.